A few weeks ago I wrote an article titled: Relationship Problems.
In the article I talked about how important it was to know your character. Especially when it comes to writing material for your act.
After the article published I received an email that asked:
“What if the character gels in your head but you just plain suck at writing comedy?”
I knew this was asked in jest, but at the same time, there was a kernal of truth in the question.
So many people lament over the fact they aren’t funny – or they can’t write a joke.
If so, you may be in the wrong business.
Because successful ventriloquists are very funny. Even Terry Fator, known for his mad vent skills, his impersonations and his singing, uses lots of comedy in his show. These talents combine to create an incredible act.
For someone to think or say they aren’t that funny, or they can’t write a joke, is a negative to their art.
To me, that would be like an artist saying they can’t draw.
Can you tell a joke?
Do people laugh? Or do you suck at telling jokes?
If you can’t deliver a joke – then yeah, hang up the puppet and start learning magic.
Because people expect puppets to be funny – and you are the puppet.
But if you can deliver a joke – you are funny. If people laugh when you tell that joke, you are funny.
So the problem becomes the writing – because we’ve just established the comedy.
And writing is difficult.
Professional joke writers create more bad material than good. It is a numbers game. The more material you write, the greater the chance that something will be (or become) funny.
Comedy is a muscle.
It needs to be exercised.
If you sit down with the attitude that you suck at comedy writing, guess what … you will suck at comedy writing.
But if you open your mind to the fact that you are going to write a lot of crap before you find a nugget, and you continue to produce that crap, you will eventually find your joke or routine.
Think funny. Surround yourself with funny. Work on funny.
And eventually you will write funny.
It takes practice – just like the way you learn ventriloquism.